Saturday, March 29, 2014

K3169 Trees and Stripes for Spring

I have been trying to find a way to use some of the cotton woven stash I have accumulated.  I liked the look of the peasant style Kwik Sew top.  Miss K liked it as well so I thought I'd try it out.

(oh beautiful cover-stitch, how I love thee)

This is a pull-over top with raglan sleeves.  The neckline and arms have elastic in casings.  I sewed up View B in short sleeves.  K is now in a size 10 so I cut and sewed a size L (10). She was really excited about the long sleeve one with bell sleeves but I explained to her that Spring was coming and long sleeve sewing would have to wait until Fall.


Instructions: Kwik sew instructions are easy to follow and their pictures help a visual person like myself; however, Step 5 has you overcast/serge the edge in the round - whereas I prefer to do it before the last part of the neckline is closed (personal preference).  The same can be said for Step 2 in view B for the sleeves. Nothing wrong with this, I just find it easier/faster to serge flat.
I did not use the recommended 21" for the neck elastic but shortened it to 18.5" after testing it on Miss K.  I used the longer sleeve length instead of the cap sleeve.

easy way to use up cotton wovens
fast sew
only uses 1 yard

a bit short
sort of a "too simple" pattern

3/4 yard of stashed green tree fabric purchased in August 2013 from Mill End Textiles. 1/4 ish yard of green stripe purchased March 2012 from It is called Nicey Jane Slim Dandy Stripes Blue, from Free Spirit.
K decided to have a dance party

But then spotted the neighbor's cat and took off to pet it

March Totals:
Stash used: 5 yard
Fabric Out: 24 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 20.5 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 18 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 78 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 75.5 yards

So I found this saying the other day and it really got me thinking about my sewing goals.
"Some kind of failure always occurs before success. If you're too afraid of failure, you can't possible do what needs to be done to be successful."
Most of the battle I have is internal.  I do not like failure or even the thought of it.  This prevents me from starting many projects.  This is something I hope to change this year. Do you ever not start a project for fear of failure?

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Burda 05/2007 #109A Revisited Racer-Back Tank

One of my goals this year is to work on getting a better fit on some of the patterns I've sewn and liked a lot.  I really liked the Burda 05/2007 #109A Racer-back tank I made in the fall but I needed to tweak it just a bit.  I made it in a lightweight knit with purple and gray stripes last time.

This time I used a slightly thicker knit; It is the scraps of Mr. T's raglan tee.  I had to have some of that fabric for myself and it fit perfectly.  I totally copied the colors of his shirt down to the same ribbing - it's ok though because we won't be wearing them at the same time ;-)  The fabric started as a yard of 60" wide for only $3.95 and I bet if I had to guess; that I used about 1/2 yard.

(proof that I do smile - sort of, lol)

Adjustments I made this time around:

  • 1/2" square shoulder 
  • added the SA to the neckline that I forgot last time (oops)
  • added 1" to the front neckline so it wasn't so low cut
  • 1/2" added at hip front and back
  • 1.5" added to hem
  • 1/2" swayback
It seems like a lot, but really it wasn't and they were all easy ones.  I wanted to do the forward shoulder adjustment but forgot.  next time. . . 

I matched the stripes perfectly on this baby - on purpose.  How cool that it actually worked out for me!
I serged all seams except the hem.  I basted the ribbing with my regular machine in the neck and arms before serging, and then top stitched both with my cover stitch (which I also used for the hem).  It went together fast and it turned out great. 

Yes there is still a mild amount of back pooling but at this point I don't care.  I have some small pull lines under the bust and it is because my hips are pulling the shirt toward the back.  I will work on that next time too by adding another 1/2" to just the back hips.  

My cover stitch handled this like a dream.  Thanks Gail! I did switch my serger power cord with the cover stitch and it helped tons with my speed and control.  :D

It's a winner and I will most likely wear it as often as possible all summer.  I have a very small range of comfort with temperature.  Some days I can be cold while wearing a sweatshirt in 80ยบ F weather, other days I need this tank when it's 70ish - so it will come in handy when layering and looks better than just a plain ribbed tank.  The purple and gray stripped tank I made previously has journeyed to the pajama drawer because it is just too thin and too short.  

Oh, and this is Betty.  She and I have had major differences since she arrived.  I'll try to make the story short.  I received Betty for my birthday last March.  She arrived in a mangled, busted up, dirty box.  I tried to send her back for 3 weeks to the company.  They attempted to have FedEx pick her up that whole time.  Betty sat on the outside porch for all of it - taunting me with her large box each day.  It actually became a joke with my kids as if Betty would be gone or not each day.

Well, Betty left one day, but then found her way BACK the next!!! (FedEx is terrible in our area).  Things were worked out with the company and Betty stayed, in her box, for the next 6 months or so.  Then I decided to bring her out, fit the shell, and stuff her into it like a sausage.  Betty has a lot of foam on her. It was hilariously terrible to do all this.  Sigh. Oh Betty.  She still didn't fit my measurements and I gave up.... until yesterday.

I brought out the butcher knife and started hacking away at Betty's large areas.  Then I sewed that shell even smaller and had to sit on her while my husband zipped her up.  The foam was everywhere and it was hard to breathe so I don't recommend it.  Betty is close enough to my measurements in that I just plain give in to her.  She has a much broader back than me, her waist is larger, and I had to put socks over her arm stubs because the foam sticks to everything and I can't put things on and off without the socks.  Plus I can't adjust the swayback in the shell because of the zipper.

I told you it was a story!  So while I tolerate Betty, I don't really like her.

March Totals:
Stash used: 4 yard
Fabric Out: 23 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 13 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 17 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 77 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 68 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How are they holding up? Nov-Jan edition

Let's look at how things are holding up that I've sewn November 2013 to January 2014


From Top Left to Right:
Burda Tie-Tank Top 05/2007 #130
Made: Nov. 10th
Outcome: still in the closet, again it has been too cold - but I do like it and hope to wear it in the summer

Ottobre 06/2013 #38 Leggings
Made: Nov. 21st
Outcome: Miss K likes these but only worn them once; however, it has been so cold so she hasn't had an opportunity to wear them really

Jalie 2805 for K
Made: Nov. 21st
Outcome: It is a bit snug in the belly part but K loves it and wears it a bunch. It is holding up well

Jalie 3242 Undies for K
Made: Nov. 21st
Outcome: K likes these and wears them - they are holding up well.

Ottobre 05/2013 #1A
Made: Nov. 30th
Outcome: I wear this as often as it is clean. I love it to pieces but the blue knit is bad quality and is pilling.  I hope to re-make this with a better quality blue knit (I still have enough of the gray)

Also in November:

Burda polo shirt dress - terrible fit issues
Made-ish: Nov. 21st
Outcome: still in this exact place. I haven't fixed it or worked on it.  I'm avoiding...


Jalie 2918 for T
Made: Dec. 19th
Outcome: The green one was the tester so it is a pj top - it is so soft and really has washed and worn well.  The light blue on the left with the fox I was so proud of but T decided it wasn't cool enough to wear to school. :(  He stated that he liked the shirt but wanted the design bigger. boo.  It is now a pj shirt but it has washed and worn great - it looks just like the pic still.  The last bright blue tee on the right I was going to put the zelda (green shirt) picture on it but after T proclaimed his dislike for the smaller graphics I just left it plain.  It is a nice weight cotton jersey with some spandex.  It washes and wears like a dream and he has worn it to school a few times.  Ya can't win them all.


From Top Left to Right:
Jalie 2805 Pj Top and Ottobre 06/2013 #38 bottoms
Made: Jan. 9th
Outcome:  The top is great and is being worn tons.  The bottoms were too tight and split the first day. They have since met their demise and gone into the trash.

Jalie 3243 pj shorts
Made: Jan. 9th
Outcome:  These are great. They fit perfectly and K is wearing them to bed a lot.

Ottobre 01/2009 #28 jersey tunic
Made: Jan. 12th
Outcome: I have K wear this every time it's clean. I freaking love it to pieces.  It has washed well too.  I couldn't be happier. (I love this design!)

Sewaholic Alma
Made: Jan. 25th
Outcome: Sigh. I'm almost sorry to type this but after all that fitting and muslin-ing I hate the sleeves on this.  I love the fabric and I love the top - I just hate the sleeves because my armpits show.  I saved some of this fabric so I'll be seam ripping and re-doing the sleeves before I wear the top. But I will wear it because I love it!!!  I just need to fix those darn sleeves before it gets warmer.

Lady Skater
Made: Jan. 27th
Outcome: Well, this was my tester for this pattern.  The sleeves are too big and the neckline too large too.  I have this in my re-purpose bin because it won't ever get worn.  I will re-make this pattern though.

So how are your makes doing? Are they wearing well? Out of the 15 things I made 9 are being worn in public. (granted, 2 more could be worn but T is choosing not too).  So 60% -73% of what I make is a success - I can live with that.  

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Monday, March 17, 2014

Kwik Sew 3342 Misses Pajamas

As I get the hang of my new cover stitch I wanted to test out some techniques on it without ruining something nice.  I made up a pair of pajamas for myself using Kwik Sew 3342.

(View C with rounded neckline)

I used view C but rounded the neckline.  For the top tank I cut a straight size small.  I performed a swayback adjustment as well as square shoulder.  I also tried the hollow chest adjustment by darting out 1/2" from the neckline towards the armpit. I added 1" to the length hoping to fold and hem it.  I attached Picot elastic to the neckline and armholes.  The top fits pretty good.  It was short still, even after adding that inch so I just sewed a rolled hem to the bottom. If I make it i again I will be sure to add at least 2" more to that hem.  It was comfy enough to sleep in all night last night.

For the bottoms I cut a large and held the paper up to my body.  I realized right off the bat that the rise was way more than I would ever like.  I took out 1.5" out of the rise.  I attached the Picot elastic to the leg openings.  When I tried these on I laughed so hard.  The crotch part hangs lower than the leg openings but they are wide.  These are almost like boy short underwear but with wide leg openings.  They were silly looking and uncomfortable.  The rise was still a good 3-4" too much for me, too.  I will not be making the shorts pattern from this again :-)

(I should have known with the crotch so low like that)

(NOT flattering at all)

I used 2 yards of a thin jersey from my stash.  I picked it up some time ago for $3.95/yard with the intention of using it for this pattern. As for the cover stitch learning -I used it for all the elastic top stitching and it's going well but my machine flies.  I barely hit the pedal and it zooms.  I need to find the sweet spot because I can't keep my stitches straight when it goes so fast!

(mostly straight...)

March Totals:
Stash used: 3.5 yard
Fabric Out: 22.5 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 9 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 16.5 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 76.5 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 64 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Orange you glad to see me? 06/2013 Ottobre

Such a fitting title for this post :D
I wanted to make K a t-shirt dress sort of like a mini skater.  I saw pattern #26 Pumpkin Pie Jersey Dress in Ottobre 06/2013 and knew it had potential.  Why buy a new pattern when you can use one you already have, right?

(apparently I can't take a straight picture lol)

I traced the bottom front skirt (piece 3) and used it as both front and back for lower skirt in it's entirety, not as pieces.  I also traced the bodice front (piece 1) from the center front on just one side to make it possible to cut 1 piece on the fold.  I cut the back bodice on the fold too - not adding seam allowances to that center line.  I made the sleeves short sleeves because we are hopefully on the warm up around here.

When sewing I assembled just like my lady skater dress and used clear elastic tape in the waist part.  This fabric is a rib knit but stiffer because of the orange print.  I didn't' want the waist to stretch out or sag. The shoulders have fusible stay tape and I opted for my normal neckline of folding the strip in half, sewing it, then flipping and top-stitching it down.

I sewed a size 140 for the bodice, sleeves, and top of the skirt panel.  I then graded out to a 146 near the hip to bottom of the skirt.  I also tried a hollow chest adjustment in the front bodice by darting 1/4" out.  I think it fits her much better in the top.  I love the overall fit - it has a 60s mod appeal to me.  I'll definitely be making this again for her and love that the actual dress pattern uses different fabric pieces (awesome for using up scraps).  I would say that I fit this on 1 yard of 55 ish inch wide fabric.

I used my new cover stitch machine on all hems, the top-stitching on the neckline, and top-stitching the waist seam. Wow!  I love that thing.  This saved so much time on this dress.  And it sews sooooo fast - I need to get a bit better with my control of it, but man I love that thing.  (does anyone with a brother 2340 know how to make the looper thread a little tighter? I've tried the looper on 9 with needles on 3, then 8, then switched it to looper on 3 and needles on 8.  I'm ok with how they are now but would prefer them just a bit tighter.)

I also whipped up this pair of pj shorts out of the craziest piece of scrap.  (pattern Jalie 3243) It was only as wide as each leg and very long.  I would have to say it made up about 1/2 yard out of the stash.  K has a kwik sew nightgown in this fabric and she is also happy to have the print in shorts.

Now that the cover stitch is set up I am chomping at the bit to sew a million things.  :-)  It's almost too bad that I have to make K an Easter dress because I'd rather sew so many other things.

March Totals:
Stash used: 1.5 yard
Fabric Out: 20.5 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 9 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 14.5 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 74.5 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 64 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Oliver + S Hopscotch Skirt

I have been busy, busy, busy. I have really cleaned up my sewing room.  I sold another 18 yards of fabric and 11 pounds of scraps!  Whew.  I am re-arranging for a reason....... I bought a cover stitch machine. Eeek! I'm so excited and she will be here Friday.... my birthday! Yay!  What better than to spend my day trying out my new machine.  I debated heavily between the Coverpro and the Brother. In the end the Brother won.  I want to see how much I will use it before spending a ton of money.

Anyway.  I started this Oliver + S skirt for K at the beginning of March.  All that was left for the last week or so was the top button. LOL.  What a procrastination.  K and I used snaps down the front instead of buttons, but opted for an actual button for the waistband.  I didn't want any snap popping open there.

This is a yard of stash fabric I used too!  Michael Miller Happy Hills. I purchased this last March for $8.98 from  The cute yellow pockets are from flannel scraps.  The cotton is a bit stiff for this skirt but I've only pre-washed it so far.  K is developing a few rounder areas lately, namely her rear end and her tummy.  She insists on the skirt sitting below her belly button, but then it rides up her swayback.  Knits fit her much better but I have so much cotton to use up.

Sewing this pattern was fun.  Oliver + S always have great instructions.  The measurements put her in a size 12 width and 10 length but it is clearly too wide and too long.  I think a 10 width and 8 length would have been about right.  I guess to me it looks cuter on the pattern envelope and the hanger.  Love those pockets though!

March Totals:
Stash used: 1 yard
Fabric Out: 19 yards + 11 scrap pounds
Fabric In: 5 yards

Totals for the year to date:
Stash sew this year: 14 yards
Fabric out in 2014: 73 yards!
Fabric in 2014: 60 yards

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Recap

Here is a quick recap of the month.

Feb Totals:
Stash used: 4.5
Fabric out: 43
Fabric in: 34

Yardage Totals for the year to date:
Stash sewn this: 13
Fabric out 2014: 54
Fabric in 2014: 55

~ Happy Sewing! ~ Kristin ~